Thursday, August 11, 2011

Who is Weird?

In life we come across all kinds of people, good & bad, tall & short, handsome & ugly, grumpy & friendly. The list can go on…but this article is about people who are known for their peculiar or weird habits – which set them apart from the rest!

The first person who comes to mind is my boss of 12 years in the advertising agency where I was working way back then! A very handsome man with an attractive moustache, which he would keep twirling whenever he was in deep thoughts working on a campaign or when he was in a serious discussion with his colleagues.

Since his marriage was on the rocks, living at home, facing his forever nagging wife had become a daily torture. To escape her, he decided to change his office timings. He would walk into the office only around 5 pm, have a brief meeting with his secretary to catch up on the day`s events and work the whole night in the office. He would return home around 8 am next morning by which time his wife would have already left for her office. After catching up on his sleep during the day he would return to the office in the evening. This became his routine.

He would dictate all his letters into a Dictaphone and leave it on his secretary’s table for typing the following day. People used to comment that he had virtually become an owl, active only in the night, probably also because his wife had the hobby of collecting miniatures owls in all forms!

While there was no problem for him with this arrangement it was hell for all his colleagues, who had to follow regular office hours! They could get appointments to meet the boss only after 8 pm. Branch Managers like me, on a visit to the Head Office, got our appointments with him only after midnight. This weird habit cost him both his wife and eventually his job!

My own father displayed certain peculiarities. He had an obsession for cleanliness – he would wash his hands, his dinner plate and the stainless steel tumbler which was exclusively reserved for him (nobody dare touch it even by mistake!) several times, even though they might have been already cleaned by my mother before he took any meal. He was a gregarious soul, very popular among friends and relatives outside the home, but once he entered the house he would turn into a ‘Rudra Moorthy’ (angry old man) who kept bawling at his wife and children for all that they did or did not do.

He also found a great companion in himself! Whenever alone, whether at home or on a walk; you would find him talking loudly to himself. The moment he became conscious of somebody approaching him, he would stop talking.

He was also well known in the colony where we lived, for his loud sneezing! Every time he sneezed “Haa… Choo!” the whole colony would reverberate with the sound. I know of visiting relatives, who could not locate our house – identifying the same on hearing his sneezing noise!

Another copywriter colleague of mine (in Chennai) was addicted to drinking, a bottle of `Hewlett Mixture’ daily. This tonic was supposed to be good for ulcers; which he had acquired handling a tension ridden advertising job and dealing with an equally demanding wife at home! A knowledgeable and erudite writer he was also well known for `beating about the bush’ in any discussion.

He would never come straight to a point. If someone asked him for direction to a place, his typical response would be, “you don’t take bus A, but take bus B. don’t get down at ‘C’ stop but get down at ‘D’. After getting down don’t take a left turn but a right turn. When you reach the end of that road, you will find ‘Y’ shop. Ignore it and look for ‘Z’ shop and take a left next to it and enter;…etc. etc`

By the time he finished, the person who had asked for directions would be so frustrated that he would be left wondering why he ever asked the question in the first place. He could be really exasperating!

It does take all kinds of people to make up this world. I wonder what peculiarities I have about which people talk behind my back!

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